Connor Bromley

FIFA 21: “Solid enough but really lacks the innovation to be anything more”

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FIFA 21 was released on October 6 2020

The most wonderful time of the year is here! No, not Christmas – it is the launch of FIFA.

FIFA has been a staple of the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has dominated the football game market. This year’s launch is likely to be as anticipated as any other, with the Covid-19 situation meaning that people are more likely to be sat in the house playing video games. 

This years addition is much like a Sam Allardyce team – solid enough but really lacks the innovation to be anything more.

But will FIFA be everything that football fans crave? 

Well, yes and no. If, like me, you enjoy career mode, then you will be pretty pleased to see some quite major additions. For example, there is a new simulate function which means you can drop in and out of games. Losing 1-0? Well jump in and turn it around. Winning 3-0 at half time? Simulate the rest of the game so you can get on with your season.

Other additions include the new training system which is far more hands-on and allows players to actually control when their players train and what they do. There has been a major revamp to the youth development system which allows players more freedom to mould their younger players into the next superstar. 

Outside of career mode, FIFA has continued to adapt their popular Ultimate Team mode by allowing players to create their own stadiums. However the continued use of loot boxes are annoying and show that EA is really just striving to get money out of your pocket even after you have paid £50 for the game. 

Pro-Clubs has also seen some TLC which is nice as it often felt like FIFA’s forgotten mode. Players can now alter their team and have a bit more creativity around their club. But these changes are hardly ground-breaking and it feels like FIFA focused their attention on other areas of the game. 

Volta-football is the final mode on FIFA worth mentioning, and it still feels like a square peg in a round hole. FIFA’s gameplay does not really endear itself to smaller matches and it feels like Volta is a weak attempt at recreating the popular FIFA Street. 

So these are the game modes on FIFA which have largely seen improvements. But what about the gameplay? 

Well, FIFA has really improved gameplay and made it a more realistic football simulation. Passing is slower, and there is a greater emphasis on tactics and instructions for your players than on previous editions. Last year’s FIFA had major problems with crossing, as it was nearly impossible to score a header. This has been rectified in the latest game and now you can actually utilise set-pieces and crosses to score goals – hoorah! 

Is FIFA worth buying then? Well, if you are a football fan then you will like this game. If you liked FIFA last year, then you will love it this year. 

Is this the best football simulation game? Definitely not. There are games like PES which have better gameplay and Football Manager which produces a better management simulator. But FIFA is a nice blend of the two and gives fans a fun experience that will no doubt last until the release of FIFA 22.